Whether you're scuba diving off the shores of the Outer Banks or hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina offers a diverse array of activities for your upcoming trip.

Just the words "Outer Banks" evoke images of serene beaches where simple pleasures reign supreme. On Cape Hatteras Island you will find exactly that. The peaceful atmosphere here is ideal for a trip full of fishing, surfing, and scuba diving. Beyond great restaurants, Hatteras also has earned a reputation for its gorgeous sunsets. No list of the top 10 North Carolina vacation spots would complete without a mention of Hatteras Island.

Another destination in the Outer Banks is Duck, home to luxurious and spacious vacation rentals right on the ocean. During a trip to Duck you can spend your days soaking up the sun or trying new adventurous activities like parasailing, kayaking, or deep sea fishing. This town is also known for its great shops, so leave some extra room in your luggage.

Every traveler will have his or her own favorite destination in the Outer Banks, and for many that place is Corolla. This town is known for its wide beaches that are equally perfect for serious relaxation or some fun-filled family time. Local golf courses, hiking trails, and delicious seafood restaurants will all keep you busy during a trip to Corolla.

The Outer Banks isn't the only place in North Carolina worthy of a vacation. Take Boone for example, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Adventurous travelers will be drawn here for high country fun including horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and hiking. Be sure to pack along your hiking boots.

Located in the center of the state is Lake Gaston, a peaceful lake where adventure and relaxation meet. Families can spend days soaking up the sun on the lakefront or indulging in a range of activities from hiking to boating to water skiing and more. Vacation rentals are perfect for evening barbecues and watching the stars come out.

The Outer Banks offer popular beach destinations, but North Carolina also has more coastline to enjoy. The small town of Emerald Isle will be immediately appealing for its local charm, but the scenery and long list of activities will bring visitors back again. Spend your trip kayaking, deep sea fishing, or scuba diving.

Travelers looking for an Atlantic coastal destination with a long list of activities should check out Topsail Island. Here, many outdoor adventure options will be waiting for you just beyond the doorstep of your vacation rental including surfing and scuba diving, or having the opportunity to learn about the local sea turtle rescue effort.

Are you the type of traveler that prefers off the beaten path destinations? If so, check out Kure Beach. This undiscovered spot offers quiet beaches, casual restaurants, and close proximity to a long list of golf courses.

Beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains, another option for exploring mountains in North Carolina is the Smoky Mountains. In Bryson City you can rent a cabin that will place you right at the border of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, a place ideal for hiking, biking, and wildlife tours.

Another one of the top 10 North Carolina vacations pots is Wrightsville Beach. Here you can spend your days fishing, surfing, scuba diving, or boating. If you're lucky enough to catch some fish, you can throw it on the barbecue in your vacation rental or bring it to a local restaurant that will cook your catch.

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